Oklahoma State’s post-Signing Day press conference Thursday was also coach Mike Gundy’s first media availability since the Cotton Bowl.
Which it means it was the first time he could be asked about the departure of former offensive line coach Joe Wickline, who left OSU after nine seasons to take the offensive coordinator job at Texas.
“Joe and I had a great relationship here … very instrumental in what we accomplished here,” Gundy said. “Joe has to speak for himself, but he made a decision based on his career and where he was at in his age and his life.
“Sometimes when you’re at a place as long as he (was) — 10 years, give or take — guys move on. We had a great relationship and I’m very thankful for what he did for us the time he was here.”
When asked if Gundy ever considered Wickline for the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator post when it came open multiple times during Wickline’s tenure, Gundy did not directly answer the question.
Instead, he used that as a chance to describe the “delicate issue” of managing a staff, even admitting that many coaches have “big egos.”
“There’s guys now on our staff that could be coordinators,” Gundy said. “But I have to determine what I think is best for Oklahoma State football, for whatever reasons. It’s not as easy as just moving a guy into that spot…
“The management of a staff of men who are all good enough and they’re all qualified and they all have personal goals, in my opinion, is one of the most difficult things to do as a head coach. To keep the right people, the quality of people and the chain of command in order to have success (is a challenge). And it’s never perfect.”
Gundy noted that Wickline’s Stillwater home is near Gundy’s. So Gundy hopes they can have a discussion soon, now that Signing Day has passed.
“For the most part, it’s all water under the bridge, anyway,” Gundy said. “But I will take time to thank him for what he’s accomplished here. We came in, just, with not a whole lot and have grown to a lot now. And he’s been a part of that.”
Gundy said he hopes to hire a new offensive line coach in the next few days, noting that he spent part of Signing Day on that search process.